Hey there skeptifans. Here are the media Fails and Wins you sent me last week.
Edzard Ernst on alternative medicine
After Steve Jobs death, which we now know may have been hurried due to his decision to choose alternative treatments over evidence based ones, Maclean’s chose to run this Q&A with alternative medicine expert Edzard Ernst. Several years ago Dr. Ernst set out to find out if there is evidence to support the most popular alternative treatments. His findings were that the vast majority of alternative medicine is quackery. I hope this interview will help sway some people on the fence about chiropractic and other placebo treatments.
Family Doc Says No To Perilous Chickenpox Pops
Anna spotted this story on NPR. Apparently, there is a mom in Texas selling chicken pox infected lollipops to Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Skeptic North*
A common flavoring of chewing gum was associated with a 25% reduction in acute otitis media (AOM) in a small meta-analysis of children in Finnish day care centers, researchers reported.
Chewing gum has long been touted by gum manufacturers for preventing tooth decay and by frequent flyers for keeping one’s ears from popping during take-offs and landings. It’s been looked at for heartburn from overeating, relief of stress and anxiety and in dieting (although sugar-free gum has no more effect, it’s been recently noted).
Now, one of gum’s common flavorings, xylitol (birch sugar) is being looked at for its antibitoic properties in an age of antibiotic overuse and potential drug resistence. Xylitol has been used for decades as a natural non-sugar sweetener in gum, toothpaste and medicines.
AOM is the most common bacterial infection among young children in the United States. By the age of one, approximately Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*
24 years old female presents with several week history of progressive stomach pains, substernal chest discomfort, heart palpitations, loss of appetite, headache, insomnia, and growing lump sensation in her throat. Physical exam was essentially normal.
Can this previously healthy female have suddenly developed reflux, globus, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, brain tumor, and throat cancer with possible overlying thyroid disorder? Or perhaps has she contracted some other horrific mystery disease?
But maybe none of the above…
What if I told you she will be giving a doctoral dissertation for her Master’s next week for which she is ill-prepared given a recent breakup with her boyfriend of 5 years and a growing distaste of her school classmates who have been less than supportive.
In other words, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Fauquier ENT Blog*
There’s a new term that has entered the medical lexicon. The word is wellness. Hospitals and medical offices are incorporating this term into their mission statements, corporate names, business cards, medical conferences and other marketing materials. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation has appointed a Chief Wellness Officer, an intriguing fluffy title that does not clearly denote this individual’s role and function. This is deliberate, as the word wellness is designed to communicate a ‘feel good’ emotion, not a specific medical service.
Just a click or two on Google will lead you into the wellness universe. Here’s a sampling:
- Institute of Sleep and Wellness
- Wellness Institute of America
- Naturopathic Wellness
- National Wellness Institute
- Physicians Health and Wellness Center
- Physicians Wellness Group
There’s even a sponsored ad on Google where one can Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at MD Whistleblower*
There’s so much weird and exciting cancer news this week, it’s hard to keep up!
Double-kudos to Andrew Pollack on his front-page and careful coverage in the New York Times of the hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (Hipec) technique that’s being used at some name-brand health care facilities to treat colon cancer.
First, he spares no detail in the Times describing the seemingly primitive, crude method:
….For hours on a recent morning at the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Andrew Lowy painstakingly performed the therapy on a patient.
After slicing the man’s belly wide open, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Medical Lessons*